Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Baited and Hooked

[posted by Callimachus]

Armed Liberal discusses the recent apologies for Iraq War support by two notables from the center-left: Peter Bienert and Bjorn Staer. He respectfully finds their answers wanting, but I'll let you read that in his own words.

I don't often read such writing. I understand the writer's need to explain himself, but that's his need, not mine. I got snookered, too: Not by the Bush Administration's pre-war arguments about Saddam's armaments and his likely threat to America and its friends (I never trusted the White House on that and got my opinion about that by watching Saddam himself -- and he was a much more artful and convincing liar than anyone in the White House). But by the Bush administration's seeming intention to do this job with full attention to leaving Iraq better than we found it and to righting a regional record of humanitarian wrongs with our flag on them that goes back longer than my life. For that, I gave my personal support to a war led by a guy I never wanted to see in the White House in the first place.

So I fell for the bait. So what? It doesn't seem to me the betrayal of my little ideals is such a damned serious thing in the world. It doesn't require an anguished prose apologia. A lot of people now are being publicly flogged over this, and a few are pre-emptively self-flogging.

I'm far more interested in what we do next, because however we got here, we are undeniably here, and time, as far as I can tell, still moves forward, not in reverse. I've also got that Pyrrhonic streak. If this weren't happening, something else would be. If the U.S. had not invaded Iraq in 2003, that doesn't mean "March 2003" would be frozen in place forever. What would the "something else" be? You'll never know. Neither will I.

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